Wednesday, September 24, 2014

All About Brain Tumor

The family again has lost another member to cancer. His fight against cancer was so abrupt as what he had was a very aggressive tumor of the brain. As I recall the events that took place, as recent as August, he requested me and Jon to take him to the hospital as he was feeling some weakness on the left part of his face. He’s never been diagnosed with cancer before August and so (being a Physical Therapist by degree) I have concluded (by physical presentation) that this was merely a case of Bell’s palsy. Although skeptical that it was merely Bell’s palsy due to some body weakness, we then decided to take him to Perpetual Help Hospital. We were endorsed to Doctor Piano, a neurologist where he performed some tests and requested for an immediate MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which is used primarily in detecting large and small masses in the brain. At this point, the initial diagnosis (without the tests to rule out all other issues) was Stroke or Cerebrovascular Accident. Also, as of this time, there was already an evidence of body pronounced body weakness… that was how aggressive the case was…

CT Scan and MRI were never done in the same hospital cause we had to transfer facilities because his health insurance would only cover for any procedures/tests done at Cardinal Santos Hospital in Greenhills, San Juan. Without further discussions, we had to leave and transfer hospital, but before we did, we had to go back to their house to get things as we were advised that my cousin would need an urgent confinement.

After so many hours of waiting for an available room, he was finally confined and was getting worked up in preparation for his tests. Took a while before the tests were done and as soon as they got the result, they immediately advised me. It was a very aggressive brain tumor. So much for the hope that it was merely Bell’s issue… 

MRI Results samples:

 Early signs of his case:

Regular Headache
Hemiparesis -  weakness on one side of the body. It is less severe than hemiplegia — the total paralysis of the arm, leg, and trunk on one side of the body.
Bell’s Palsy presentation of the face
Muscle Twitching
Muscle Fatigue

Late signs of Brain Tumor:

Memory Loss
Change in sensation – vision, smell, hearing
Nausea or Vomitting
Loss of Balance
His fight with cancer ended last September 17, 2014 when he finally joined in hand with the Lord in eternal peace.

In line with this, I would also like to share with all of you some vital information that might be helpful to those who are still in battle with this dreadful condition.

Glasgow Coma Scale is as below. This is an indicator of the prognosis of the patient depending on the score. It will determine the outcome of the fight.

There may be some of us who are so used to doing self medication and what have you, remember always that is it best to consult the physician for anything beyond understanding especially when it comes to our health. As the saying goes, “health is wealth”…

Lesson in life to live by from Dalai Lama:

Above all, pray and have faith, the Almighty knows what is best... Take care everyone... =) 

Rest In Peace
Reynaldo De Vera
You will be missed... =(

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